News: Marine mother cheers on Marine son at Warrior Games
Story by Sgt. Justin Boling
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A woman cheers from the stands. With her brown, feathered hair and her sleeve tattoos.
Her son will do everything he can to make her proud.
“He followed in my footsteps into the Marine Corps, said Kimberly, a Wounded Warrior mom and prior service Marine Corps sergeant. “I had him ready for boot camp before he stepped out the door. “We are the same person.”
“This gets us one step closer to being able to compete on the Amazing race.”
Kimberley Blair, urges Lance Cpl. Zach Blair, Marine team member on during the 2013 Warrior Games held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The weeklong Para Olympic event pits wounded, injured and ill veterans from all branches of the U.S. military and a British team against each other.
“It is always awesome having my mom here,” said Zach Blair. “She is always there for me.”
Zach Blair competes in multiple events including wheel chair basketball and seated volleyball.
“This is an absolutely awesome program,” Kimberly said. “This is my time to get away and spend time with my son.”
According the Kimberly, the way the Corps treats it injured and wounded Marines has changed quite a bit.
“There is no place I would rather be,” Kimberly said. “If he gets selected for the team I will be here.”
Eric is stationed with Wounded Warrior West, San Diego, and his mother lives in his hometown of Tipp City, Ohio.
“Seeing me play was kind of her present,” said Zach. “ We get to spend some time together and enjoy the area when I am not playing.”
This year, Kimberly was able to watch her son’s team defeat the Navy and Coastguard 51-19 in wheelchair basketball.
“I never thought he would walk much less play basketball ever again,” said Kimberly. “We love basketball, he may even love it more than his girlfriend, don’t tell her that.”
“I tell him to let them judge you, but on the court take to them,” Kimberly continued. “Last year he scored more points individually then the entire [Navy and Coastguard] team.”
Zach was involved in car accident, which shattered one femur and destroyed a knee. It occurred while he was getting ready to deploy from Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
“He had only been in the Marine Corps for about 18 month when the accident happened,” said Kimberly. “I remember the rough night after the late night phone call,”
“He was nearly 20 seconds form death after ins accident,” Kimberly said. “I count my blessings each day.”